After four seasons in Glendale, the Arizona Coyotes have officially parted ways with head coach Rick Tocchet.
In his time behind the bench, Tocchet was 125-131-34. He led the Coyotes to the playoffs just one time last season.
With a young nucleus of talent, the Coyotes were looking to take off this year and build off of last seasons postseason run, but a late slide down the stretch ultimately kept Arizona out of the playoffs for the third time in Tocchet’s four years as coach.
“It’s been an honor to coach the Coyotes the past four seasons,” Tocchet said in a statement from the Coyotes. “I have great respect and admiration for all the players I coached in Arizona, along with my coaching staff, the medical staff, the equipment managers, the PR staff and the team services staff. They are the best in the NHL, and I appreciate all their help and hard work. I also want to thank the fans of the Valley for all their support. I have loved living, playing, and coaching in Arizona and this place will always be special to me.”
The Coyotes finished 24-26-6 this past season, with Tocchet’s final victory coming last night in San Jose. With first-year General Manager Bill Armstrong coming into the fold last summer, Tocchet was not the new GM’s hire. Tocchet was originally brought on by former General Manager John Chayka.
The team was in contention for the playoffs and Armstrong didn’t buy or sell at the NHL trade deadline, giving Tocchet and his players an opportunity to make a late push and see what they could do.
However, the Coyotes missed out on the postseason once more, and now the search for the organization’s eighth head coach in franchise history will get underway as Armstrong looks for his own coaching hire.
“After meeting with Rick, we have agreed that a coaching change is in the best interest of the club,” Armstrong said. “This was a very difficult decision, but we believe that it is time for a new direction and new leadership. Rick is a very good coach and an incredible person, and we sincerely appreciate all his hard work and dedication to the Coyotes the past four years. We are grateful for everything that he has done for our organization and wish him the best of luck in the future.”